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Old 12-26-2012, 09:46 AM  
Bob Dole Bob Dole is offline
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Eggs

What the hell is the industry doing to the chickens or their eggs that is making it nearly impossible to get a decent looking deviled egg?

For the past couple of years, probably 50% of the eggs Bob Dole boils don't peel worth a shit. Talked to 3 different people this holiday season who have the same problem. Mom just baked two as an experiment, and it yielded the same results.

Something has changed.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:25 AM   #31
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I've tried everything everyone has suggested.

They either don't peel cleanly, or have a cupped end.

This isn't rocket surgery. I've been making hard boiled eggs for 20 years without issue until about a year ago.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:29 AM   #32
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:46 AM   #33
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http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/20...-hard-to-peel/

Consider the farm-fresh egg, the pristine symbol of the simple days of pre-industrial farming.

People love them, but there’s a problem: They seem to be getting harder to peel. And though I’ve messily discovered this on my own, there’s some science to back this idea up.

Here in food-crazed San Francisco, fresh eggs are everywhere. After purchasing some of these just-collected treasures for hard boiling, I found it nearly impossible to peel off their shells without pockmarking them. My once-beautiful eggs ended up with more craters than the moon.

It couldn’t be my fault, I told myself. I’d been hard-boiling eggs for decades, most intensively during a six-month egg-salad kick in ninth grade. I got my technique down and everything.

What happened, then?

As an egg ages, it loses some carbon dioxide through tiny pores in the shell, making the egg white more basic. At the same time, it loses moisture, which increases the size of the “air cell” at the bottom of the shell, between the inner and outer membranes. The dynamics of this process are, in the words of a University of California, Davis agriculture publication, “not completely understood,” but the combination of these changes makes an old egg a lot easier to peel than a one that is fresh out of the bird.


“The best guarantee of easy peeling is to use old eggs!” wrote Harold McGee, in his monster 800-page tome, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. “Difficult peeling is characteristic of fresh eggs with a relatively low albumen pH, which somehow causes the albumen to adhere to the inner shell membrane more strongly than it coheres to itself.”

The USDA provides a complementary explanation more focused on the air cell, which you can see in the schematic, sitting between the outer and inner shell membranes.

“As the contents of the egg contracts and the air cell enlarges, the shell becomes easier to peel,” the USDA Shell Eggs from Farm to Table fact sheet states. “For this reason, older eggs make better candidates for hard cooking,”

McGee also suggests an easy cooking chemistry solution.

“If you end up with a carton of very fresh eggs and need to cook them right away, you can add a half teaspoon of baking soda to a quart of water to make the cooking water alkaline (though this intensifies the sulfury flavor),” he wrote.

While I’ve noticed the Peeling Problem most distinctly with superfresh farm eggs, the eggs you buy at the supermarket could be getting fresher too. Most American eggs are produced and distributed by agribusiness concerns like Cal-Maine and Rose Acre, which each have more than 20 million hens cranking out eggs just for you.

Statistics on the time it takes for an egg to go from hen to supermarket have not been calculated, a USDA representative told Wired.com, but there’s some reason to believe that new production techniques could be delivering eggs to markets faster.

A 1998 report by the agency found that big consolidated chicken egg facilities, which wash and package the eggs on-site instead of sending them to a separate processing location, could reduce the time from farm to store from 100 hours to 53 hours. And, according to Cal-Maine’s SEC filings, the industry continues to centralize, squeezing out the old facilities in favor of the new ones.

Eggs tend to sit on the retail shelf longer than they spend in processing and distribution, so the few extra days of freshness might not make the eggs as dramatically hard to peel as farm eggs.

But if you have any trouble, consider another technofix: automatic Eggstractor egg peeler, anyone?
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:50 AM   #34
ptlyon ptlyon is offline
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rocket surgery?
Surgery. On rockets. DUH.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:51 AM   #35
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
Eggs dont peel well until they have been in fridge a few days. Eggs we get today are seldom stored before hitting the shelf at store. Sounds odd, but they are too fresh.
I don't buy that.

My eggs come straight from the goddamn chicken - they taste better, they cook better, they just straight are better.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:52 AM   #36
Fire Me Boy! Fire Me Boy! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
Eggs dont peel well until they have been in fridge a few days. Eggs we get today are seldom stored before hitting the shelf at store. Sounds odd, but they are too fresh.
That's the exact opposite of what I've always heard. The older they are the harder they are to peel. And eggs in the store are always older than farm fresh.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:58 AM   #37
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:03 AM   #38
Nzoner Nzoner is offline
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Originally Posted by Fire Me Boy! View Post
And eggs in the store are always older than farm fresh.



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Old 12-26-2012, 11:08 AM   #39
BigMeatballDave BigMeatballDave is offline
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:14 AM   #40
Groves Groves is offline
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Ask any old timer housewife and they'll agree, old eggs make better peelers.

You can't win with that fact in our fresh-obsessed society, but hopefully we can remain objective with wines, cheeses, and other items that actually do better with a little age. (like eggs to be peeled)
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:31 AM   #41
DJ's left nut DJ's left nut is offline
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Originally Posted by Bob Dole View Post
Not doing it any differently than the previous 20 years. That's kind of the point.
That's funny, the wife and I were just complaining about the same thing.

Eggs are not peeling for shit right now.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:34 AM   #42
ILChief ILChief is offline
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Egglands best eggs peel a lot better than the cheap ones
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:38 AM   #43
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It's probably the thing that cdcox posted, but just to be thorough, check your fingernails. Do you still have them? Are they still hard? Are you eating eggs after swimming long distances, for example, the English Channel?
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:39 AM   #44
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I am a cook for a living in a retirement community where our residents love hard boiled eggs and we make about 20 dozen a week. The key to the perfect hard boiled egg is to boil or steam for about 20 minutes or so. Once you do this you want to shock it in ICE WATER not cold but ICE. The reason behind this is that on the inside of the shell is a thin membrane that is attached to the shell to help it hold together. As a egg is boiled the expands ever so slightly. What the ICE WATER does is shock the temperature of the egg, when that is done the egg will separate from the shell with the membrane. Then proceed to peel with running cold water to act as a lubricant while washing the egg off at the same time.


This


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Old 12-26-2012, 11:42 AM   #45
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You're boiling them too long.
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